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New Sleep Guidelines

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The demands of grad school forced Viviane Faria to drastically cut back on her sleep. "It was like about maybe 4 hours, 3 hours, 6 hours if I was lucky."

That's significantly less than the 7-9 hours a night the American Thoracic Society recommends for most adults. Sleeping more may be an indicator of health issues including depression. Sleeping less is also linked to health problems. "You're subject to certain metabolic problems, such as pre-diabetes; you have more likelihood to have cardiovascular problems and hypertension," says University Hospitals Case Medical Center Dr. Kingman Strohl.

The policy statement also recommends:
the development of  age-based sleep guidelines for children,
better education for health care providers about common sleep disorders,
and talk therapy rather than medication to treat insomnia.

"When the drug stops, the insomnia pops up again. But when cognitive behavioral therapy is instituted, there's more longer lasting sleep satisfaction," says Dr. Strohl.

Viviane has recently started catching up on her sleep now that she's graduated. "I've been sleeping so much. I'm kind of in a vacation mode so I've been sleeping a lot."

A lot, but not more than the recommended amount.
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